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Avis Refuses to Rent Car Over Businessman’s Israeli Identity

( The Avis car rental agency refused to provide an Israeli businessman with a rental vehicle because of his Israeli identity, the New York Observer reported Sunday.

Dov Bergwerk, a senior executive at Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva, said that on Friday he and his wife arrived at the Avis branch on West 76th Street and Broadway in New York City and were planning to join friends for dinner in Westchester.

Bergwerk told the Observer he has rented from Avis dozens of times before—but when he handed the agent his driver’s license, reservation number and Wizard loyalty card, the unforeseen trouble started.

According to the Observer, a reservation agent named Angelline said it was company policy not to recognize Israeli documents. Stunned, Bergwerk explained that he had rented from Avis on numerous occasions, including from that very office only two days earlier.

The branch manager, named Shamoura, sided with her reservation agent and refused to honor the reservation or recognize Bergwerk’s documents. Both the reservation agent and the branch manager refused to provide their last names, according to the Observer.

Bergwerk called the Avis main number, where a representative confirmed that the Israeli license was an acceptable form of ID and also mentioned that he could show his passport to ameliorate any ID concerns the onsite employees had.

Avis said in a statement, “Visitors to the U.S. from other countries must provide both a valid driver’s license from their country of residence as well as either a valid International Driver’s License or passport in order to rent from Avis….So far, our ongoing investigation suggests that this customer is unfairly maligning us with unfounded allegations.”

Indictment: Palestinian Terrorists Planned to Abduct, Not Kill Henkins

( October’s Palestinian terrorist attack that killed Eitam and Naama Henkin in front of their children was originally planned as an abduction, an indictment filed Thursday with a military court in Judea and Samaria revealed.

According to the indictment, the four terrorists—Yahia Hajj Hamad, Ziad Amar, Karem Razek, and Samir Kusah—were members of a Hamas cell that had sought to carry out shooting attacks against Israelis, but after their attempts to kill Jews failed, they decided to stage an abduction.

The prosecution said that when the terrorists spotted the Henkins’ vehicle and caught up to it, Hamad fired dozens of shots at the victims. Eitam Henkin was wounded and his car became stuck on the road’s shoulder. Hamad and Razek then approached the vehicle to abduct the family. With Eitam using the last of his strength to fight Razek’s attempts to steal his gun, Hamad shot him dead at point-blank range. Immediately afterward, he shot and killed Naama.

Hamas Officials to Be Paid With Formerly Jewish Land

( The Hamas terrorist government in the Gaza Strip has reportedly started allotting plots of land Israel withdrew from in 2005 to officials whose wages have been delayed.

According to Palestinian sources, Hamas Finance Minister Ziad al-Zaza announced Sunday that officials who served in the Gazan parliament before the formation of the 2014 Fatah-Hamas unity government who are still waiting for wages or severance pay will be given land as compensation.

All the land included in Hamas’s remuneration plan was once part of Gush Katif, the bloc of 21 Jewish communities in southern Gaza that was home to 8,600 Israelis before August 2005, when the communities were evacuated and the homes razed in Israel’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza.

Hamas’s decision to divvy up the land enraged Fatah officials in Ramallah, who said the move constitutes “unparalleled corruption,” and urged the Palestinian people “to come together and oppose the division of Gaza’s lands to [Hamas] cronies.”

Since the Fatah-Hamas unity government was formed in 2014, the Ramallah-based Fatah government has been paying Gaza-based Hamas officials’ wages, but Fatah has refused to dole out severance pay for some 40,000 Hamas government officials who were dismissed.

Palestinian Terrorists Stab Israeli Men Near Jerusalem Market

( Two female Palestinian terrorists armed with scissors tried to stab Israelis outside a bustling Jerusalem market on Monday. Two men, ages 27 and 70, were injured in the attack.

One of the terrorists was killed and the other was moderately wounded as security personnel rushed to subdue them. According to Israel Police sources, the terrorists were aged 14 and 16.

The incident occurred around 11:30 a.m. at a security checkpoint outside the Mahane Yehuda market. The terrorists pulled out their scissors and pounced on the elderly man, who turned out to be a Palestinian from Bethlehem. They then tried to stab two more women, but security personnel opened fire at them, killing one and neutralizing the other.

The elderly man suffered stab wounds to the head and back. The 26-year-old man, who had taken part in efforts to subdue the terrorists, suffered light gunshot wounds after apparently being caught in crossfire. Both victims and the wounded terrorist received emergency care at the scene and were then transported to hospitals in Jerusalem.

American Anthropological Association Members Back Measure to Boycott Israel

( Members of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) on Friday voted in favor of a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions. The measure—backed in a vote of 1,040 for and 136 against—will be submitted for a larger vote among the AAA’s entire membership in the spring season of 2016.

Jewish organizations panned the AAA resolution, including the Israel Action Network initiative of The Jewish Federations of North America, which said, “This measure, which greatly undermines the tenets of academic freedom, hinders vital discourse and open dialogue on issues of global concern, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and restricts relationships with Israel’s universities and scholars in a punitive fashion.”

“With this misguided vote, the Anthropological Association has aligned itself with the global BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, whose effect is the demonization of Israel. It places the entire onus of the conflict on one side: the Israelis. The BDS movement does not support a two-state solution and opposes the continued existence of Israel as a Jewish state,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League.

As Terrorist Fatally Stabs Israeli Woman, Jewish Deaths in Terror Wave Reach 20

( A Palestinian terrorist killed 21-year-old Israeli woman Hadar Buchris in a stabbing attack in Gush Etzion on Sunday, bringing the number of Jews killed in the current wave of Palestinian terror to 20.

“We received a call from the ZAKA hotline about a woman seriously wounded from a stabbing attack,” said Israel Klatchkin, a volunteer for the Israeli emergency response organization ZAKA. “We arrived at the scene of the attack a few minutes later. The terrorist was killed by soldiers at the junction. The young woman died of her wounds at the hospital, after being evacuated by ambulance in a critical condition. ZAKA volunteers from the Shai region cleared the site of human remains.”

Obama Offers Condolences to Schwartz Family

( President Barack Obama called the family of Ezra Schwartz on Monday to offer his “profound condolences” after the Massachusetts teen was killed in a Palestinian terror attack in Israel last week.

The president “underscored that Ezra’s studies in Israel strengthened the bonds between Israel and the United States and, as we mourn his death, those bonds only grow stronger,” a senior Obama administration official said regarding the call, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Obama, the official continued, “condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack that took his life.”

While a U.S. State Department official swiftly condemned the terror attack that killed Schwartz on Nov. 20, Obama came under fire from some in the Jewish community for not personally condemning the attack and reaching out to the family sooner.

Amnesty International Calls Palestinian Terror Attacks ‘Reprehensible and Unjustified’

( The human rights organization Amnesty International—which is known for its harsh criticism of Israel—strongly condemned the spate of Palestinian terror attacks on Israeli civilians over the past week, saying the attacks “displayed a clear contempt for human life.”

“Deliberately attacking civilians is contrary to one of the most fundamental principles of international law and can never be justified,” said Philip Luther, director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

On Thursday, Palestinian terrorists killed five people—including three Israelis, an American yeshiva student, and a Palestinian—in attacks in Gush Etzion and Tel Aviv.

Amnesty, however, also condemned Israel for its “pattern of unlawful killings, including extrajudicial executions, by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians and a series of attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian civilians and homes over the past two months.”

Palestinian Fatah Official Praises Toddler for Wanting to Shoot Israelis

( An official from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, Tawfiq Tirawi, expressed pride in his 2-year-old son for wanting to shoot Israelis.

“Listen, my son is 2 years and 10 months old. Yesterday, he sang to his mother, ‘Escort the martyr to his wedding.’ He doesn’t know the meaning of this song (i.e., the Islamic belief that martyrs marry 72 virgins in Paradise),” Tirawi said on Palestinian Authority TV, Palestinian Media Watch reported.

“Today, his mother told me that he sang, ‘Daddy, buy me a machine gun and a rifle, so that I will defeat Israel and the Zionists.’ A boy who is not yet three! A Palestinian grows up with a feeling of belonging to the land, the homeland, and the people,” added Tirawi, a Fatah Central Committee member.

In Jerusalem, Kerry Condemns Palestinian Terror Wave

( U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday in Jerusalem. The leaders discussed the ongoing wave of Palestinian terror in Israel, in addition to concerns over security issues related to Syria and Islamic State.

“Clearly, no people anywhere should live with daily violence, with attacks in the streets, with knives or scissors or cars,” Kerry said prior to his meeting with Netanyahu.

“Regrettably, several Americans have also been killed in the course of these past weeks, and just yesterday I talked to the family of Ezra Schwartz from Massachusetts, a young man who came here out of high school, ready to go to college, excited about his future, and yesterday his family was sitting shiva and I talked to them and heard their feelings, the feelings of any parent for the loss of a child,” added Kerry, a former U.S. senator representing Massachusetts.

Also on Tuesday, Kerry told Rivlin, “Israel not only has the right to defend itself but has an obligation to do so. The United States will continue to stand with Israel in support of your desire to live in peace and stability, without that violence.”

Netanyahu told Kerry before their meeting, “You are a friend in our common effort to restore stability, security and peace. There can be no peace when we have an onslaught of terror—not here or not anywhere else in the world, which is experiencing this same assault by militant Islamists and the forces of terror. Israel is fighting these forces every hour.”

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